This post describes the VA disability appeals process for decisions issued prior to February 19, 2019. Decisions received after that date are subject to the new VA appeals process.
In an effort to help veterans adapt to post-service life, financially support their families, and receive medical treatment, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a number of benefits programs to eligible service members.
Fortunately, even when an application for benefits is initially denied, claimants have the right to appeal the decision, so if you are seeking benefits for the first time or had your initial application denied and are interested in filing a Notice of Disagreement, or Form 9, it is critical to speak with an experienced Griffith veterans benefits attorney who can assist you.
The VA offers a wide range of benefits, services, and programs to qualifying veterans, including:
In addition to offering benefits to former servicemen and women, the VA also provides assistance to the family members of qualifying veterans, who could be eligible for assistance with education, healthcare, or household expenses.
Veterans whose request for benefits have been denied have the right to appeal that denial by filing a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) with the VA, although they only have one year from the date of the decision to do so. Once the appeals process has been initiated, a Decision Review Officer will be assigned to the case to assess all of the evidence originally submitted with the application, as well as any new evidence collected by the claimant. Once the review has been completed, the officer will send his or her findings to the claimant in the form of a document known as a Statement of the Case. In the event of a second denial, a claimant can submit another appeal by filing Form 9 with the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. However, the Board will only consider an appeal if it is filed within 60 days of the officer’s decision.
Unfortunately, depending on how many appeals a claimant files, this process could take up to 18 months, unless an applicant is in financial distress or is suffering from a serious illness. In these cases, the Board may be willing to hasten the review process. If the Board issues a third denial, the claimant has 120 days to file an additional appeal with the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
For help obtaining VA benefits or appealing a denial issued by the VA, please contact dedicated Griffith VA benefits attorney James R. Comerford at The Comerford Law Office, LLC. We can be reached at 312-863-8572 or via online message.